2023-2024 / ANIM0017-1

Biotechnology aspects of livestock systems


27h Th, 9h FT

Number of credits

 Master in agricultural bioengineering (120 ECTS)4 crédits 


Yves Beckers, Jérôme Bindelle, Martine Schroyen


Martine Schroyen

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This 4-credit course is intended for students wishing to specialize in the technical itineraries of the main species (cattle, pigs and poultry) of animals raised in temperate and warm regions to supply food systems.
The technical itineraries will be deepened by taking into account livestock systems, production objectives and environments and societal expectations concerning, in particular, the quality of animal products, animal welfare, and the externalities of livestock activities.
This course will be based on several visits to farms in Belgium intended to illustrate the technical itineraries studied during the course and discuss them with farmers and/or active members of the animal sectors.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of this course, the student will be able to undersatnd, criticize and possibly solve common problems related to monogastrics and beef cattle production and the quality of their products.
This course contributes to the acquisition of the following skills:

  • Assess qualitatively and quantitatively the internal components of a livetsock system
  • Evaluate the impact of external components, taken individually, on an agronomic system within its sector
  • Apply an optimization strategy to a component of a known system
  • Evaluate the impact of each stage of an existing technical route on the characteristics of the expected deliverables
  • Design or identify integrated solutions in response to demand in the field of agronomic sciences

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

 BIOL2011-1 Human and animal physiology

BIOL2018-1 Animal nutrition

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The in depth will be studied during the theorical sessions and will concern the production of cattle, pigs and poultry. Each animal category will be the subject of a field visit to continue the theoretical lessons and discuss them with the breeders.
After an introductory session, students will work in groups to model the dynamics of a beef, dairy or swine herd according to the proposed tours. They will develop the flow chart and equations showing the dynamics of the herds under consideration and will prepare a spreadsheet on excel that models this.
Then, the groups will take advantage of the visits to collect crucial data on the farm in order to run their model on the farm under consideration. They will look for missing elements in the literature and courses taught by other teachers and finally will apply their models in scenarios to prepare a report on the visited farm including suggestions to improve farm management.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face lectures Seminars Field trips and farm visits: the presence of the students is mandatory
A part of the course is taught in English

Recommended or required readings

- Commercial chicken meat and egg production (by D.D. Bell) - Muscle development of livestock animals: physiology, genetics and meat quality (by te Pas & al) - Principles of pig science, 1994, ed. by V.D.J.A. Cole, J. Wiseman, M.A. Varley, J.P. Chadwick; Nottingham University Press, 472 p. - Progress in pig science, 1998, ed. by J. Wiseman, M.A. Varley, J.P. Chadwick; Nottingham University Press, 617 p. - Alimentation des animaux monogastriques, 1989 (2e ed), INRA, Paris, 282 p. - Memento de l'éleveur de porc, 2000, JTP, Paris, 374 p. - Weaning the pig, 2003, ed by J.R. Pluske, J. Le Dividich, M.W.A. Verstegen, Wageningen Academic Publishers, 432 p. - The poultry production guide, 2000, Ed. Naheeda Khan, Elsevier international. - La production de poulets de chair en climat chaud, 2003, ITAVI, Paris, 110 p. - Commercial chicken meat and egg production (by D.D. Bell) - Muscle development of livestock animals: physiology, genetics and meat quality (by te Pas & al) - Payne WJA, Wilson RT. 1999. An introduction to animal husbandry in the tropics. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Science. - Coulon JB, Lecomte P, Boval M, Perez JM (coord.). 2011. Elevage en régions chaudes. Numéro Spécial. INRA Productions animales. 24(1). http://www.inra.fr/productions-animales/spip.php?rubrique157

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Written work / report

Additional information:

The terms of the evaluation will be specified during the course sessions.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

A part of the course is taught in english


Jérôme Bindelle (jerome.bindelle@ulg.ac.be, +32 81 62 26 09)
Yves Beckers (yves.beckers@ulg.ac.be, +32 81 62 21 19)
Martine Schroyen (martine.schroyen@uliege.be)

Association of one or more MOOCs